Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Apr 15, 2008

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

We spent a bit more than a week in Switzerland. Our reasons for visiting were two-fold. Obviously it is a beautiful country with a rich cultural history in its cities, mountainous and rural areas. The other reason was to see my college friend from The Corcoran, Karma and her family. Karma and her husband Bernard and their young daughter Ines treated us like we were family. Even today, weeks later, I am still amazed by the extent of their generosity. This entry will serve as a public acknowledgment of thanks to them.

Karma and Bernard live in Lausanne, a gorgeous little city located on Lake Geneva and is the home of the Musee Olympique (Olympic Games Museum)- The man who envisioned the modern Olympics was Swiss. They opened their home to us, letting us use their computers and laundry machine, they sat us at their beautiful dining room table and served us home-cooked meals most every night and Bernard continually went to his wine collection always prepared to open another bottle. In many ways it was better than home.

We toured Lausanne and it's sister city Geneva on a couple of the days. In Geneva we walked a large part of the city as we always do, had lunch and saw the sights. The highlights were the United Nations center and The Museum of The Red Cross and Red Crescent. This was a really well put together exhibit and the length and breadth of their assistance to world communities really is astounding.

Later that day Karma assisted Des in getting her hair chopped short.

Another day Karma drove us to the fortress town of Gruyere. Gruyere is famous for it's cheese and we ate a lot of it. That afternoon Des and I, Karma and Ines sat down to a traditional meal in the center of town overlooking the mountains. "Traditional" in this area means rachlette and fondue and it was goood. Later we stumbled upon the H.R. Geiger (famous for the movie "Alien" etc.) Museum which happens to be located there. As to be expected it was a rather disturbing experience. We lightened the mood after that adventure and went to the Gruyere Cheese Museum. We know a lot about cheese now... it was really fun.

I am still in awe of this next story and I want to thank Bernard again for his generosity. I got to do something that I think very few backpackers can say they ever had the chance to. I went golfing! It's better than that actually. Bernard secured a beautiful set of "Taylor Made" irons from a friend for me and hooked me up with his woods from the previous season, very nice as well. We woke up early and drove south into the mountains of France to The Golf Club Esery, a beautiful mountain lynx style course. We met Karma's cousin Memo and played 18 and had lunch in the clubhouse afterward... it was awesome! On top of this, my two hosts would not let me spend a cent. How does one say thank you for such generosity?

We went for a couple day trip to Interlaken and Bern before we said goodbye to our generous hosts and Switzerland, so we'll pick-up in the next section.

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ruthiem on

As usual I am enjoying living vicariously though you. The scenery here is so beautiful. You two are living the dream.

Desma I just saw your sister this week, finally. We work a block away from each other and still it took this long.

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